Victoria Eskdale

Fashion Lecturer - RMIT University Vietnam

"I fell in love with my course, learning new knowledge, skills, techniques, producing projects & outcomes that I never thought I would be able to"

The Course:

Whilst studying for both my BA (Hons) Clothing Product and Development degree and my MSc Advanced Product Development I gained skills that I have carried through to my career. I was able to develop practical skills in pattern cutting, design, Adobe suite and product development knowledge and application but also strong personal skills including: confidence, resilience, networking, understanding how to differentiate myself and how to be innovative.

I found that the topics I studied such as CAD design and pattern cutting allowed me to explore my creativity in a way that could be both profitable and commercial. The facilities available also provided me with a platform to carry out research whilst I was at university in collaboration with other members of staff. This showed me real life applications that are being used in industry and helped me to understand the processes involved in the fashion industry.

My time at Manchester Metropolitan was a period of my life that I thoroughly enjoyed! I enjoyed meeting new friends, being involved in a creative space, student collaborations and the buzz of Manchester and its music and art scene. I also fell in love with both of my courses, learning new knowledge, skills and techniques and producing projects and outcomes that I never thought I would be able to. The facilities and positivity of the staff and tutors was also fantastic.

Industry Placement:

In my third year, I enrolled on to the placement year. My placement was with a supplier house based in Altrincham at the time – The Stirling Group. I got the role of an in house designer, working with womenswear department with a focus on casualwear, designing for large companies such as Marks and Spencer.

Taking a placement year was one of the best decisions that I made whilst at university. From this experience, I began to understand how to put all the knowledge and skills that I had learnt into practice in a real life environment. I also learnt new skills and applications, gained further understanding of the Adobe Creative Suites – Photoshop and Illustrator, attended trade shows, flew to European destinations on competitive shops and learnt how to create and develop specification packs.

The experience I gained from my placement year enabled me to start up a small freelance business developing specification packs for the fashion industry whilst simultaneously enrolling on my masters. It also helped to provide me with high levels of skills in the area of CAD, which I then ended up teaching at Manchester Metropolitan after completing my masters.

After Graduation:

After graduation, I created a small start-up business, Victoria Eskdale Designs, a freelance design agency specialising in the development of technical specification packs for the mass market. Simultaneously I began lecturing at Manchester Metropolitan, delivering Computer Aided Design classes for fashion students based in Manchester Fashion Institute, formerly the Hollings Faculty.

I currently work at RMIT University in Vietnam, as a Lecturer on the Business of Fashion; Merchandise Management course. I also coordinate four other courses: Fashion Materials, Product Specification, Product Ranging and Advanced Product Development. I also recently took on the role of Internship Coordinator.

I have also been involved in research at RMIT Vietnam University, having recently curating an exhibition at Dia Projects, Dong Khoi Street. The exhibition ‘Design & Heritage’ was a collaboration between Fashion4freedom a NGO & I to highlight the traditional artisan skills of the craftsmen of Vietnam with particular focus on the aLoui tribe based in Hue. Amongst the artefacts presented at the exhibition, was a small jacket collection that I had researched, designed and sampled. I also work directly with RMIT Melbourne to enable study tours between RMIT Vietnam students & RMIT Melbourne. Creating an action packed timetables in Vietnam including, guest talks, factory visits, small-scale design projects for groups of students.

I am continuing to do research in my academic field, and I am currently writing my PhD proposal with the hope of enrolling in 2018.

Student Support:

My course tutors pushed me to my creative limits, made me see things that I couldn’t see myself and directed me to achieving a First in my degree and a Distinction in my masters. I also had the pleasure to work with them in future years and they were very supportive colleagues.